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To Number Our Days By Pierre van Paassen (1964)



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Author: Pierre van Paassen
Keywords: Pierre van Paassen; 1964; Leo Frank; Atlanta Journal Constitution; Israel; Palestine; France; Georgia; Canada; Alberta; Jew; Jewish; Judaism; Zionist; Zionism; anti-Semitism; anti-Semite; Steve Oney; Leonard Dinnerstein; Elaine Marie Alphin; Jeffrey Melnick; Jeffrey Paul Melnick, Leo Max Frank; Leo M. Frank
Year: 1964
Language: English
Collection: opensource

Description

Pierre van Paassen brings together a lifetime of ostentatious tall tales, fantasmagorical memories and embellished stories in his memoirs, 'To Number Our Days' (405 pages), published in 1964 by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.

Pierre van Paassen is most often cited post-1964, for his unique claim that in 1922, while he was investigating the Leo Frank case file at the Fulton County Courthouse of Atlanta, Georgia, he made an incredible discovery of a shief containing flesh X-rays and dental photographs from 1913, proving Leo Frank was innocent of raping and strangling Mary Phagan.

Several of the most notable Leo Frank partisan authors (Steve Oney, Leonard Dinnerstein, Elaine Marie Alphin, Jeffrey Paul Melnick and others) cite Pierre van Paassen's alleged earth-shattering evidence discovery as ineluctable proof that posthumously exonerates Leo M. Frank, who they believe, was wrongfully convicted of murder in the summer of 1913.

Leo Frank detractors have described Pierre van Paassen's newfangled never-before-revealed and never-again-seen X-ray and photograph discovery of "secretive" Leo Frank case evidence as an incredulous fraud, dubbing it, "The Leo Frank Dental Photograph and Mary Phagan Bite Mark X-ray Hoax", because they believe this dubious material was never mentioned in any of the legal proceedings or hearings concerning Leo Frank from 1913 to 1986.

Excerpt that discusses the case of Leo Frank and Van Paassen's discovery of photographic evidence, pages 237 and 238:

The Jewish community of Atlanta at that time seemed to live under a cloud. Several years previously one of its members, Leo Frank, had been lynched as he was being transferred from the Fulton Tower Prison in Atlanta to Milledgeville for trial on a charge of having raped and murdered a little girl in his warehouse which stood right opposite the Constitution building. Many Jewish citizens who recalled the lynching were unanimous in assuring me that Frank was innocent of the crime.

I took to reading all the evidence pro and con in the record department at the courthouse. Before long I came upon an envelope containing a sheaf of papers and a number of X-ray photographs showing teeth indentures. The murdered girl had been bitten on the left shoulder and neck before being strangled. But the X-ray photos of the teeth marks on her body did not correspond with Leo Frank’s set of teeth of which several photos were included. If those photos had been published at the time of the murder, as they should have been, the lynching would probably not have taken place.

Though, as I said, the man died several years before, it was not too late, I thought, to rehabilitate his memory and perhaps restore the good name of his family. I showed Clark Howell the evidence establishing Frank’s innocence and asked permission to run a series of articles dealing with the case and especially with the evidence just uncovered. Mr. Howell immediately concurred, but the most prominent Jewish lawyer in the city, Mr. Harry Alexander, whom I consulted with a view to have him present the evidence to the grand jury, demurred. He said Frank had not even been tried. Hence no new trial could be requested. Moreover, the Jewish community in its entirety still felt nervous about the incident. If I wrote the articles old resentments might be stirred up and, who knows, some of the unknown lynchers might recognize themselves as participants in my description of the lynching. It was better, Mr. Alexander thought, to leave sleeping lions alone. Some local rabbis were drawn into the discussion and they actually pleaded with Clark Howell to stop me from reviving interest in the Frank case as this was bound to have evil repercussions on the Jewish community.

That someone had blabbed out of school became quite evident when I received a printed warning saying: "Lay off the Frank case if you want to keep healthy." The unsigned warning was reinforced one night or, rather, early one morning when I was driving home. A large automobile drove up alongside of me and forced me into the track of a fast-moving streetcar coming from the opposite direction. My car was demolished, but I escaped without a scratch....

To Number Our Days by Pierre van Paassen (see pages 237, 238 about the Leo Frank case): http://archive.org/details/ToNumberOurDaysByPierreVanPaassen

Further Reading:

Leonard Dinnerstein (born May 5, 1934) completed his Columbia University Ph.D., Dissertation on the Leo Max Frank Case in 1966 for the Political Science Department. One of the central themes of his dissertation is Anti-Semitism was responsible for an innocent Jewish man, Leo Frank, getting convicted for the murder of Mary Phagan in 1913. Dinnerstein's dissertation became the species for his book, "The Leo Frank Case", which would go through a number of editions in its evolution beginning in 1968 when the first edition was released.

References:

Leo Frank and the American Jewish Community (1968) by Leonard Dinnerstein: http://archive.org/details/LeoFrankAndTheAmericanJewishCommunity

The Leo Frank Case (1966) PhD Dissertation: http://www.archive.org/details/TheLeoFrankCase1966Dissertation

The Leo Frank Case Book (published 1968 and thereafter): http://www.archive.org/details/TheLeoFrankCaseByLeonardDinnerstein

To Number Our Days by Pierre van Paassen (see pages 237, 238 about the Leo Frank case): http://archive.org/details/ToNumberOurDaysByPierreVanPaassen

The Elusive Leo Frank Case Georgia Supreme Court Case Records Archive (1,800 pages). http://archive.org/details/leo-frank-georgia-supreme-court-case-records-1913-1914

Other Sources:

Learn about the Leo Frank trial and appeals by Professor Allen Koenigsberg of Brooklyn College: http://www.LeoFrankCase.com


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Mediatype: texts
Identifier: ToNumberOurDaysByPierreVanPaassen
Identifier-access: http://www.archive.org/details/ToNumberOurDaysByPierreVanPaassen
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